Surrealism Revisited with Shakil Saigol

'Surrealism Revisited with Shakil Saigol’ at Canvas Gallery will continue till May 4th

Nadia Faisal

KARACHI: Somewhere between dream and reality resides the latest series of large-scale paintings by seasoned artist Shakil Saigol to embody the true essence of the title specified for it as it opens for view at Canvas.

Allowing all pieces to take shape intuitively and independently without forcing their development under one particular theme, thought or medium, the subjects he paints as always remain intensely personal.

 Each painting a portrayal of a person from his life or at times of himself, Saigol through the abundantly detailed vastness of his landscapes of these recent works dares the viewer to explore a world both strange and familiar at the same time.

With reality and fantasy merging and often crossing each other in a labyrinth of surrealist elements, the sixteen works currently on display at the gallery create hyper-realistic, dreamlike visions that are windows into a strange world beyond waking life.

Saigol, unleashing his mind from the boundaries of rationalism, any particular thought, reason or even medium, is ecstatic about the freedom that he has enjoyed while creating the current body of work. Letting his imagination take over, each painting is thematically disconnected adds the artist who is also delighted that his two granddaughters are the new muses in some of the paintings on display at the gallery.

As a self-taught artist who walked out of the family business in his late forties to pursue his passion, his skills are exceptionally refined says the curator Sameera Raja.

Unveiling his first solo show in Lahore in 1991 at the age of 47, Raja is appreciative of the artist’s consistent eagerness to learn new skills to reinvent his works over the years.

The current series resonating many elements of his previous works, is in fact a retrospective of the last two decades, she observes.

Saigol has been exhibiting locally and internationally for over 3 decades and his works are part of prestigious collections worldwide.

His current solo show titled ‘Surrealism Revisited with Shakil Saigol’ at Canvas Gallery will continue till May 4th.